Monday, December 24, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 258 SONG # 289

Day 258: Maybe my favourite country song of all times

Pancho and Lefty is kind of the trademark song of Townes van Zandt (1944-1997), a guy with a load of problems like alcoholism, drug addiction and the like. He wrote some outstanding beautiful songs (f.e., If I needed You), but me, I still do like Pancho and Lefty the most among them songs by Townes. It has been made popular by the version done by Emmylou Harris in 1977 and later on by recordings of  country-stars Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Still, I do like his rendering of the song the most. Second best (may even be the best) version in my humble opinion is the one done by Emmylou (girl with the beautiful silver hair) in 2003. Last version featured is one by the young Emmylou (did you realize, I have something for her, maybe this here post is more about Emmylou than Townes...), for comparison.

Living on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
Your breath's as hard as kerosene
You weren't your mama's only boy
But her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit boys
His horse was fast as polished steel
Wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match you know
On the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dying words
That's the way it goes

All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him hang around
Out of kindness I suppose

Lefty he can't sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down south
Ended up in Lefty's mouth
The day they laid poor Pancho low
Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go
There ain't nobody knows

All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

The poets tell how Pancho fell
Lefty's livin' in a cheap hotel
The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold
So the story ends we're told
Pancho needs your prayers it's true,
But save a few for Lefty too
He just did what he had to do
Now he's growing old

A few gray federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him go so wrong
Out of kindness I suppose

No comments:

Post a Comment